BE GM Style question: Notes or no notes?


I was rereading my last thread and spent some time thinking about something really interesting Thor brought up there. He said:

My question is about keeping secret notes as the GM.

My understanding from both reading and playing is that the intent of the BE game structure is that everyone is kinda-sorta on equal footing when it comes to establishing story stuff, with the GM serving as arbiter and tiebreaker. But there are certain advantages to a more traditional GMing role, particularly when it comes to keeping secrets from the players.

So: Keep secret notes like an old-skool GM? Don’t keep notes and keep the authority more equally distributed between players? Something in the middle?

(Right now I’m leaning toward the “no notes; everyone knows everything” camp, mostly for the novelty of it.)


I’m thinking they aren’t secret notes, they are open, jointly created notes that contain all the facts stated in world burning, character burning, and in play. More of an encycolpaedia of your world than a player beating stick of secrets.

As written, the intention is that everyone is on the same page when you start the game. This changes as the game progresses – the GM is allowed to and supposed introduce surprises.

Beliefs are out in the open, but my secret plans to win? Hell no.


This is how I’m playing as well (hence the secret Maneuver, natch).

Does that contradict Thor’s thing? Or did I misread his intention there? Because it reads to me like he’s saying the GM could trump player-introduced narrative because it doesn’t fit with the GM’s secret stuff. That struck me as unfair at first, but an interesting twist if I’d misunderstood the rules.

I’ll wait for his reply.


It was not my intention to say that. What I intended is what Luke just said.

What you quoted earlier applied only to what happens when play of the game has already started.

Got it, groovy, thanks! :smiley: